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BENGALORE'S Central Crime Branch busted a pirated DVD racket and arrested seven persons. They seized nearly 16,000 pirated DVDs worth Rs. 60 lakh ($95,000). The racket is estimated to have caused a loss of around Rs. 700 crore ($110 million) to the film industry in the past two years, they claim. The suspected kingpin would send his associate to watch the first show of newly released films that would be recorded with a camcorder. The movie would then be transferred on DVDs. The gang had released DVDs of newly released Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Kannada movies, cartoon films and porn films.

THE ALABAMA Department of Revenue has asked for a 4 percent rental tax to be applied to streaming services. This would include Netflix and Hulu Plus accounts, as well as movie rentals through Amazon and Vudu. The online streaming of digital content has taken over the home entertainment industry, and the state of Alabama is asking for its share of the pie. The Department of Revenue said it is just a matter of keeping up with technology. They want to shift the 4 percent tax that was previously imposed on VHS and DVD rentals to online content. The tax will go into effect on October 1 unless it is blocked by a legislative oversight committee.

THE UK HIGH COURT has quashed regulations introduced by the government to allow members of the public to lawfully copy CDs and other copyright material bought for their own private use. The move follows a judge's recent ruling that the government was legally incorrect in deciding not to introduce a compensation scheme for songwriters, musicians and other rights holders who faced losses as a result of their copyright being infringed. The decision was won by the Musicians? Union, UK Music and the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.

LEADING blank media supplier Victor Advanced Media will be shutting
down operations by the end of the year, the company's parent Taiyo Yuden of Japan announced. In a statement company president, Hiroki Okamatsu, said: "As the larger storage capacity of hard disc drives (HDDs) and the use of cloud computing is driving changing market
conditions, the market for optical media products has been diminishing. Due to the decline in demand in recent years and market outlook it has become increasingly difficult to expect improvement in the future business environment."

BRAZIL, Russia, India and China (BRIC) are the fast growing countries within the movies & entertainment industry awith a total market value of $10,360.0m in 2014, according to Research & Markets analysts. China is the leading country among the BRIC nations with market revenues of $4,878.3m in 2014. This was followed by Russia, India and Brazil with a value of $2,316.7m, $1,717.3m, and $1,447.6m, respectively. China is expected to lead the movies & entertainment industry in the BRIC nations with a value of $11,449.7m in 2019, followed by Russia, Brazil, India with expected values of $2,649.3m, $2,120.8m and $2,054.7m, respectively.

VINYL sales in the US grew by 52% in 2014 to 9.2 million units (up from 6.1 million in 2013), reported Billboard. CDs, which dropped 14.9% compared to 2013, still dominate total sales in country (69.1%) and Latin (81.%). In 2014, just 31 titles sold 500,000 units, with only four of them reaching a million. In contrast, 2013 tallied 45 albums that sold at least 500,000 copies, with 13 of those selling more than a million. Some 41% of all albums sold in 2014 were downloads, the same share as in 2013. Billboard also reported that 57% of all vinyl albums sold in 2014 were purchased at independent stores, while another 36% were shifted through non-traditional retailers ( and clothing/lifestyle chains like Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters).

REDBOX has rented through its network of self-service kiosks more than 3.7 billion DVD, Blu-ray and videogame discs and is available at more than 35,000 convenient locations